There are seven games on the docket. Let’s take a look at our NHL Daily Predictions.
|Blues vs Rangers
ML Off / Off
|Blue Jackets vs Hurricanes
ML +105 / -125
|Blackhawks vs Canadiens
ML Off / Off
|Flyers vs Predators
ML +130 / -150
|Red Wings vs Stars
ML +158 / -175
|Senators vs Canucks
ML -105 / -115
|Coyotes vs Golden Knights
ML -110 / -110
Here are tonight’s starting goaltenders, courtesy of LeftWingLock.
The Game to Watch: The Vegas Golden Knights’ Home Opener.
That’s right. A new era of hockey begins tonight…again.
Now that the Vegas Golden Knights have a pair of road games under their belt- both wins, mind you- they come home to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for their first ever regular season home game.
The team was able to draw over 17,000 fans for a pre-season game. Expect a big, raucous crowd tonight.
The Golden Knights have not 100% solidified their roster going forward, as they still have several question marks in no-man’s land (Vadim Shipachyov, for one). But they’ve made it work with what they’ve got.
James Neal was a game-time decision after being banged up in the pre-season on opening night. He entered the lineup officially the afternoon of the game and proceeded to net a pair of goals in a win over the Dallas Stars. The next night, he scored the game-winning overtime goal against the Arizona Coyotes.
Nashville was less than pleased that they had to give up James Neal in the expansion draft, but their hands were tied. Predators’ general manager David Poile said that prices to strike a deal to keep Neal in Smashville were “very high.” Neal has always been a scorer no matter what team he’s been on. Vegas has a legitimate first-line talent on their roster.
It’s been as good a start as one could ask for in the Golden Knights’ world. They win on opening night then earn a comeback victory in the third period and their first overtime game. Nate Schmidt tied the game with 1:12 remaining in regulation.
Remember these names and moments, because every one of them will be an answer to a trivia question one day.
Who scored the first overtime winner in Vegas Golden Knights history? Remember the name.
Arizona will have an opportunity at revenge. Antti Raanta will be called on in net again after stopping 40 of 42 shots in the overtime loss. He withstood an onslaught of shots in the second period, turning away all 18 pucks thrown on net. Early tests of his earning his first full-time starting job are coming back positive.
The Columbus Blue Jackets lost their first home game to Chicago. Minnesota tied the Flyers. Atlanta lost to Calgary. Nashville lost to Florida. Anaheim lost to Detroit. Florida lost to Pittsburgh.
The last time an expansion team won their home opener was in 1992. Both the Lightning and Senators did so on opening night of their respective seasons.
Recent history is not on their side. But this is Vegas. Anything can happen.
Prediction: Take the Golden Knights to stay hot. Play the under.
Other NHL Daily Predictions
Blues vs Rangers: The St. Louis Blues have started off the year on a nice three-game winning streak despite getting rocked by injuries early on. They improved to 3-0 with a shootout victory over the New York Islanders Monday afternoon in a Columbus Day matinee. Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn both scored in the shootout in silky smooth fashion.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) October 9, 2017
Carter Hutton will get his first start of the season tonight.
New York earned their first victory of the season Sunday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Henrik Lundqvist utterly stole the game away, finishing the night with a shutout. His defense was abused and outshot, youngsters are already getting benched, Alain Vigneault is up to playoff tricks of not disclosing his lineup until gametime, and the team just claimed veteran winger Adam Cracknell off waivers.
So I guess that whole “youth infusion reset” thing is off. Filip Chytil will skate on the fourth line, which is all but the Vigneault kiss of death. He will be sent back to juniors or the Czech Republic very soon.
The Rangers have won their last two home games against the Blues the last two seasons. Incidentally, the Blues and Rangers almost always meet in the first month or two of the season.
This will be the first time Kevin Shattenkirk is playing against his old squad from St. Louis, too. Granted, virtually half of his former teammates are on the injured reserve list, but it will still be odd to see the blue and yellow note on the opposite side of the ice.
Expect a point or two out of Shattenkirk tonight.
Prediction: Take the Rangers, who have had a day off, to win tonight. Play the under.
Blue Jackets vs Hurricanes: Many, including the pundits over at SB Nation, believe the Carolina Hurricanes to be dark horse contenders for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.
Well, they’re undefeated so far.
Carolina has had an easy start to their year. Their first game came on the fourth day of the regular season, then they got two more days off. Talk about easing your way in. Meanwhile the Blues and Rangers are both playing their fourth games of the year already tonight.
Opening night was a mixed bag for the Canes. They overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Minnesota Wild to take a 4-3 lead with 1:34 remaining in regulation.
With seven seconds remaining, Minnesota took an offensive zone faceoff with their net empty. The Wild won the faceoff, they fired a shot wide, somehow bounced the puck towards the net, and chaos ensued. With a pileup of bodies in front, Mikko Koivu banged home the puck with 0.2 seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.
— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) October 8, 2017
So much is going on here. The net is bouncing up and down, Scott Darling is in another area code, and no one on Carolina seems to know what is unfolding around them. There are six players collapsing in on the crease, and not one of them is the goaltender.
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) October 8, 2017
Jaccob Slavin would wind up scoring the lone goal of the shootout to earn the victory for the Canes.
While Carolina has had an easy go of it to start their season, Columbus totally got the shaft. They started off their season with a 5-0 home trouncing of the New York Islanders, then had to travel the next day out to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. The Hawks promptly gave them a sound thumping, 5-1.
Now that there have been a few days off, expect a return to normalcy for the Jackets.
The home team has won the last four meetings between these two teams, but the Jackets historically do quite well when given extra rest. They are 13-3 in their last 16 on two days’ rest.
Carolina will likely be without Trevor Van Riemsdyk, who has a lower-body injury. They will still be missing Lee Stempniak due to a hip issue.
Prediction: Take the Blue Jackets to win. Play the over, which has hit in both games for Columbus this season and in Carolina’s lone game.
Red Wings vs Stars: The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0. The Dallas Stars are 0-2.
Draw your totally premature conclusions now!
Dallas desperately wanted to turn things around this season. They have a new head coach in Ken Hitchcock, a new goaltender, a new top-line player in Alexander Radulov…
And yet they are losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.
That being said, the Stars are getting some very good scoring chances. They have lethal weapons on the offensive, but they simply are making too many mistakes for their own good.
Defending Big D gave their performance through two games a C+. Seems like a fair assessment- good, not good enough, but not without potential.
The Detroit Red Wings have won their first two games, but like the Stars’ struggles, that won’t last long. Detroit has won their last seven of eight in Dallas, though that was in a different era.
The Wings have lost their last four on two days’ rest.
Prediction: Take the Stars to turn things around tonight. Play the under.
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